Moscovici: Greece's market return and "dramatic improvement"

by Dwayne Torres July 26, 2017, 0:10
Moscovici: Greece's market return and

Greece last ventured into global bond markets with two issues in 2014, a year before then newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signed up to a new bailout, the country's third since 2010, after months of tense negotiations with the European Union and the worldwide Monetary Fund.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos described the bond sale, which had a yield of 4.625 percent, as "satisfactory", adding that the quality and number of investors who expressed interest constituted "the first stable steps of confidence in the Greek economy".

Last month Greece concluded a crucial bailout review and its lenders offered some detail on the measures that will be carried out when its current bailout ends in 2018 to ease its debt mountain, which stands at 180 percent of economic output.

Moscovici said Tuesday that debt relief could come once Greece successfully implements promised reforms and completes its previous year under the bailout programme, although he said a decision on what measures to undertake could be made earlier.

"Sentiment is still very positive after the European Central Bank sounded dovish at last week's meeting", said Benjamin Schroeder, a rates strategist at ING.

It is also an opportunity for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to shore up support for his Syriza party.

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"Today, things are much, much better", he said, noting that the economy was starting to grow again, unemployment had dipped and the country's credit rating had improved. Was it too tough?

The debt-ridden country went to the brink of collapse in 2010.

The Greek economy almost collapsed in 2010 under a mountain of debt and the government had to be bailed out by its eurozone partners.

Unemployment has fallen 1.9 points in a year but was still stuck at a towering 21.7 percent in April.

Greece broke a three-year dry spell with a successful return to the debt markets on Tuesday, a symbolic victory for the beleaguered eurozone nation.

Moscovici said the "140 extremely courageous reforms" undertaken by Athens meant there was now hope of "finally finding a solution to the debt problem".

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